How can caterers handle inflated prices as customers expect to pay less?
In last week’s blog I wrote about the tough business environment caterers are predicted to see in the early months of 2018. This week I read that while businesses will suffer from rising supplier prices, they will struggle to pass these costs onto the customer. A recent survey from AlixPartners found that, while 34% of customers plan to eat out more next year, only 28% plan to spend more doing so. It all points to a post-Holiday belt-tightening for restaurants so far.
Revenue growth from catering delivery
But the survey brings to light an opportunity, by revealing a surprising statistic about customer delivery preferences. 75% of people surveyed said chains need to offer more delivery options. 49% said that they prefer to order for delivery directly from the caterer, rather than through a 3rd-party company - an option favored by only 12%.
Those are some clear results. People want their order a certain way, and if a caterer can achieve that, they don’t want a middle man getting in the way of the relationship.
Owning the customer
In a recent blog we investigated the costs and benefits of using 3rd-party marketplace services. This importance of the relationship between caterer and customer, and the benefits of ‘owning the customer’, was something that we touched on. It’s one of the reasons that Spoonfed’s software has been so popular.
Corporate caterers don’t just want to know the right food will go to the right place at the right time - something that any 3rd party company can manage. What they want is to maintain a great relationship with the customer, knowing their preferences and setting up hospitality orders in a particular way.
A catering management system to stay competitive
We’re happy to see the AlixPartners survey reveal delivery choice to be so important to customers. A lot of our updates to Spoonfed recently have been helping caterers to improve their delivery options. We just added the ability to put multiple orders that are going to the same location at different times of the day into a single order...
We are soon releasing a group ordering function, enabling several people to choose their items in an order, with the PA able to make up the remainder by a generic platter:
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